Hulu is a US streaming service with over 47.2 million subscribers, and it’s growing everyday. With gritty, critically acclaimed originals, and exclusive TV shows and movies, there’s an eclectic range of on-demand content on offer – and even a comprehensive Hulu + Live TV plan for those who’ve cut the cord on cable. But should you sign up? This page will help you make that decision.
Launched in 2007, Hulu was one of the first services to compete with Netflix in the US market. Of course, there is now a whole lot of competition in the congested streaming services market – and Hulu hasn’t yet won out over its biggest rival. But Hulu arguably offers a wider range of new and classic shows than Netflix and Amazon, offering variety from the Emmy-awarded The Handmaid’s Tale to popular reality TV show The Kardashians, not to mention the thousands of movies that make up its impressive library.
Find out everything you need to know about Hulu, one of the best streaming services available, below.
Hulu explained: what is Hulu and Hulu + Live TV?
As our full Hulu review explains, signing up to a basic Hulu subscription delivers access to more than 2,500 films and 1,650 TV series. You’ll get content from major networks and original stuff from Hulu, too. But one of Hulu’s standout features is the sheer volume of options available with different bundles and add-ons. For example, you can add premium channels like HBO Max or Showtime for an extra monthly fee – and can cancel/switch at any time.
The Hulu + Live TV subscription grants you more than 75 channels for a reasonable cost (keep reading for more detail on price), as well as Disney+ and ESPN+ (see our article on the Disney Plus bundle for more information). If you’re missing traditional cable, this is the plan for you as it offers a mind-boggling amount of shows. Plus, Hulu’s Cloud DVR enables you to record up to 50 hours of live television.
Additionally, you can purchase the Enhanced Cloud DVR to increase your storage to 200 hours, or bolster your line-up with the Entertainment Network and Español Network Add-ons.
Know which plan you want to go for? You can sign up to Hulu now! (opens in new tab)
Hulu shows and movies: what can you watch now?
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An entry-level Hulu membership lets you binge entire seasons of hit shows, catch new episodes the day after broadcast, enjoy kid’s entertainment and Hulu Originals, and watch TV series and films old and new from major studios. The following list is just a sample of what’s available. For our roundups of the top options, see our best shows on Hulu and best Hulu movies lists.
- Palm Springs
- Love, Victor
- Little Fires Everywhere
- Castle Rock
- The Act
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- Future Man
- Woke and Ramy
- The Patient
- Only Murders in the Building
- House of Gucci
- Conversations with Friends
The platform also hosts older shows from dozens of networks, among them A&E, AMC, VH1, MTV, TNT, Disney Channel, and Discovery. So, you’re just a click away from shows like Sons of Anarchy (FX), Modern Family (ABC), Broad City (Comedy Central), and animated classics like Bob’s Burgers and The Simpsons (Fox). Whatever you pick, you’ll have a lot of fun watching it.
With a Hulu with Live TV plan you can enjoy all this and 75+ live channels, and choosing the Disney Plus and ESPN bundle delivers a wild amount of content to your screen.
What’s new on Hulu?
There’s a huge range of new titles coming to Hulu in early 2023. Below, we list our top picks of the titles landing on the service:
- The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
- The Breakfast Club (1985)
- The Home Alone trilogy
- The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
- One Fine Day (1996)
- Pearl Harbor (2001)
How much does Hulu cost?
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Last year saw price hikes across Hulu’s on-demand plans, just as we saw with the ESPN Plus cost and the Disney Plus price, too. Hulu’s Basic Plan now costs $7.99 a month (with ads) and $14.99 a month (without ads). This brings the ‘with ads’ subscription in line with that of Disney Plus, but inflates the ads-free subscription above Disney Plus’ by some way (Disney+ no-ads is $10.99). See our ‘vs’ section below for more on how Hulu compares to other big streamers.
The Hulu + Live TV plans, which include ESPN+ and Disney+ are now $69.99 a month (with ads) and $82.99 a month (without ads). Alternatively you can grab a Live Tv only subscription for $68.99 a month, but given you’ll have to forgo the Hulu streaming library, Disney Plus content and ESPN+ content, too, we don’t see why you wouldn’t just pay the extra $1.
Hulu: is there a free trial?
Oh yes! And it’s a doozy. If you want to try the Hulu basic or its Hulu (No Ads) equivalent, you’re entitled to a 30-day Hulu free trial, which gives you a month to explore the platform’s thrillingly diverse programming.
How to sign up to Hulu
Registering with Hulu is pretty simple!
- Head to the Hulu website (opens in new tab)
- Click ‘Start Your Free Trial’ button
- Select a plan
- Enter your email address, password, and other details
- Click ‘Continue’ and enter billing information
- Submit your info and start streaming
Hulu app: what devices can you watch on?
The latest Hulu app and all its features, including Live TV and Premium Add-ons, are supported by the following devices:
- Android phones and tablets
- Android TV (select models)
- Apple TV (4th generation or later)
- Echo Show (8, 10, and 15)
- Fire Tablets
- Fire TV and Fire TV Stick
- iPhones and iPads
- LG TV (select models)
- Nintendo Switch
- Mac and PC browsers/apps
- Roku (select models)
- Samsung TV (select models)
- VIZIO SmartCast TVs
- Xfinity Flex Streaming TV Box
- Xfinity X1 TV Boxes*
- Contour 2 and Contour Stream Player*
Click here (opens in new tab) for a detailed list of Hulu-compatible devices and models.
* While Contour devices, PlayStation 3 and Xfinity devices have the latest Hulu app, they do not support live TV programming.
Hulu in 4K and HDR
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If you’ve got the hardware to support 4K Ultra HD, then you’re in luck because some of Hulu’s best shows are available to stream in this format. Considering Hulu is home to over 4,000 titles, it’s a pretty small selection. But it still provides around 70 with which you’ll get a sharper image, deeper colour, and 8 million pixels pummelling your eyeballs.
Pretty much all Hulu Originals are ready to stream in 4K – that includes supernatural thriller Helstrom, science-fiction comedy Future Man, all seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale, and horror anthology series Into the Dark. There’s also a clutch of FX titles to enjoy too, like Mayans M.C, Black Narcissus, and the star-studded miniseries Mrs America. Any content available in this format will display a “4K” badge on the details page.
You can currently watch 4K UHD content on the following devices: Apple TV (5th generation and above), Chromecast Ultra, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, LG TVs (2017 UHD models and above), Roku, Vizio SmartCast TVs, and Xbox One (S and X models).
However, HDR is not supported right now, so all 4K UHD content would be streamed in Standard Dynamic Range (SDR).
Hulu vs Netflix vs Amazon Prime Video vs HBO Max
The most ubiquitous VOD platform, Netflix boasts over 5,000 films and TV series. It produces hundreds of Netflix Originals a year, including Oscar-nominated films and highly popular shows like Stranger Things.
Hulu’s price rise has meant we can’t vouch for it as a cheaper option outright anymore, but it does still provide great value. For comparison, Netflix’s basic with-ads is $6.99 a month ($1 less than Hulu’s ads plan) and the basic without-ads plan is $9.99 compared to Hulu’s $14.99., But you can only stream on one device with Netflix whereas Hulu offers two (or the option to buy unlimited streams for $9.99 a month). Hulu doesn’t put limits on the quality of your stream, whereas Netflix’s two cheapest plans only stream in SD. To get two device HD streaming on Netflix you’ll pay $15.49 (and $19.99 for four Ultra HD simultaneous streams).
Amazon Prime Video (opens in new tab) is comparable in price for a full Prime membership ($14.99, and $8.99 for just Prime Video). And with circa 18,000 titles, its content library is more beefed up than Arnold Schwarzenegger. Granted, the overall quality is questionable, but Prime Video does include plenty of brilliant Amazon Originals like The Boys and high-calibre movies old and new.
The Prime membership does deliver more, though. With benefits such as free delivery, Prime reading and ad-free music streaming, justify the inflated price. On the downside, you’re limited to three streams per account (you can purchase “Unlimited Screens” with Hulu), and, when it comes replicating the cable experience, Hulu + Live TV is far more cost-effective than adding individual Amazon Channels.
HBO Max is now the same price as Hulu (without ads) and a couple of dollars more for the ads version. It allows you to three different devices at once, and in HD if your connection allows. If you’re a fan of HBO’s output – and let’s face it, who isn’t? – then registering is a no brainer. Yet as well as ground-breaking dramas like Six Feet Under, The Wire, and Game of Thrones, subscribers get a wide range of titles from Warner Brothers, their subsidiaries, and third-party companies.
That means easy access to all Studio Ghibli animations, DC Comics movies, The Lord of the Rings films, and a curated selection of classic movies thanks to TCM. Or you could just add HBO Max to Hulu as a Premium Add-on.